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Cicero church employee charged with sexually abusing children

Juan David Ferreras / phofrom village Cicero

Juan David Ferreras / photo from village of Cicero

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Updated: April 9, 2014 12:02PM

A former secretary at a Cicero church has been charged with sexually abusing at least six juveniles, and police believe there may be more victims.

Juan David Ferreras, 43, was charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse, two counts of criminal sexual assault, sexual exploitation of a child, indecent solicitation of a child, four counts of distribution of harmful material, and battery, according to a statement from Cicero spokesman Ray Hanania.

Ferreras was employed at Sonido De Alabanza Church at 5510 W. 25th St. in Cicero, when he allegedly engaged in sexual acts with at least six children between 9 and 17 years old, according to Hanania.

Hanania said Ferreras was employed as a youth minister and teacher at the church, but a spokesman for the church said he was a secretary.

Spokesman Tom Ciesielka said Ferreras was employed as a secretary at the church for about two years, performing only clerical duties and secretarial work, and did not come into contact with children as part of his duties.

The sexual acts happened at the church, at Ferrerasā€™ apartment in Cicero, and at two camps in Ingleside and Tsikilwa in western Illinois, where the church hosted retreats, Hanania said.

Ciesielka said the retreats were men-only or women-only, but parents could bring their children if they were 13 or over. He said Ferreras did attend retreats but only as a church member, not as a camp leader.

Ferreras, of the 5700 block of West 35th, is scheduled to appear in bond court Wednesday.

Cicero police are searching for other possible victims. Anyone with information is asked to call police Deputy Supt. Jose Gonzalez at (708) 652-2130, Ext. 348.

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